Potted plant ‘punching’ Queensland Government’s cash flow
Queensland’s Department of Primary Industries says it has been “punched in the gut” by its cash flow, with a cash shortfall of more than $30 million.
Key points:The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has been hit by a shortfall of $30.4 million since JulyLast year the Government set aside $5.4 billion to support the industry, with the remainder set aside for new projectsThe State Government is also facing a cash crunch as it struggles to attract private capital into its booming agriculture sector.
The department said it was currently in the process of restructuring its operations, which includes restructuring the operations of the Rural Industry Commission, the department’s economic development agency.
In its annual report released on Tuesday, the Department said it had had a cash flow of $4.6 billion for the year ending June 30, compared to a projected cash flow shortfall of about $30,000.
The money has been used to fund a number of projects including the development of a $5 million irrigation project in North Queensland, a $1.3 million new port at Port Augusta, and $1 million in irrigation work for the Gold Coast.
The Department said the funding would help it provide a better financial future for its farmers, farmers customers and staff, and to make the agriculture sector more competitive.
“It’s a big blow, it’s been a real challenge, we’re not going to be able to do it without all this extra money,” said the department secretary, Tony Brummell.
“We’re going to have to do some really tough decisions about what’s going to happen.”
Mr Brummel said it would take time to get the new projects up and running.
“That’s the nature of these projects.
You’re talking about a whole range of projects that are taking longer than expected,” he said.”
I don’t think we’ll be able get through it without a big, big round of cuts in our own department.”
In an update on Tuesday afternoon, the Queensland Government said it expected to have $1 billion in cash flow available to meet its financial needs by March next year.
“This is an important milestone in the Department’s long term plans to transform Queensland’s agriculture sector into a sustainable, sustainable and sustainable economy,” the department said.
The announcement came just hours after the State Government announced $5 billion in new funds, to be used for the “development of infrastructure projects, new capital projects and projects related to agriculture, agribusiness and other related industries”.
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